The second season of Being Human kicks off on Syfy on January 16th, and the show delivered well enough the first season to warrant some real excitement when it comes to how things will continue on. It’s becoming increasingly rare that British translations work out, and this one has been a welcome surprise.
To help kick things off, I have a couple of very cool clips, and an interview with the stars.
Let’s just dive in.
‘A Look Ahead’
And, here’s the interview.
Could you talk a little bit about what it’s been like to film season two and maybe touch upon some of the bigger things people see happening with you, and how it’s different to play these characters in the second season.
Sam Huntington: Sure, we loved the show so much, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that and so we were all really, really excited to get back.
And you know the funny thing is I personally expected it to feel a lot like just one giant bout of déjà vu and to be honest, like it really just felt as though we never had the hiatus. It just felt because it was all the same crew and a lot of the same cast it just felt like we had maybe a two day break and then we just rolled into season two, it was bizarre.
But at the same time it was great because I felt like we were able to really just pick up right where we left off which was a really cool spot. So yeah, anyway, like that.
Sam Witwer: Yeah, I guess I didn’t expect it to be – I mean okay there’s me and Sammy and Meaghan and we bonded I think all the way back during our first audition together.
But I guess you know you go away, we were so exhausted after the first season, I for months afterwards even the thought of doing season two would make me sleepy. And by – when we got back I guess I hadn’t expected to be as happy to see everyone as I was. The crew and all the directors and everyone and that kind of carried for me that carried me through the season. I wasn’t as exhausted this year, there was something about having a successful season one behind us and knowing the characters and having that momentum that was really positive this year.
Meaghan Rath: Yeah, and I think it was just script wise it was a lot easier to just fall back into it this year because there was no establishing who our characters were and what our circumstances were, we just jumped right into it. And that’s reflective of the first episode, we just get right into the story immediately which was really great.
Sam Witwer: Absolutely, and in the first season there was so much heavy lifting on everyone’s part to establish these characters and to try make this all work and now we had a – some – what do you guys think, I think we had a little bit of competence going on this time.
Sam Huntington: So much more, there was so much uncertainty in season one, it’s like imagine like any television show, your season one is you’re kind of biting your fingernails the whole time just saying to yourself God I hope people like this and I hope people watch this.
Sam Witwer: Right and you’re second guessing yourself.
What about a story line, you know what’s coming up, how season two felt different and just like the stories you’re getting to tell?
Sam Witwer: It’s extremely different, it’s very, very different. It’s – if season one was about putting these people who are at risk into a safe environment, well season two is all about what is that risk about? And I think it’s inevitable with these people and their adversities, you know specific risks that they have in terms of you know vampire, werewolf and ghost, what do those conditions mean. And basically what it means is these people are in trouble and we’re going to see a lot of that trouble this year. We’re going to see why they need so badly to have a sanctuary because things get a little bit darker this year.
It seems like your characters this season are sort of tempted by the darker parts of their natures. And are put in situations where that comes out. I was wondering how you maintain sort of their humanity when playing the dark parts and what kind of challenges there are in doing that.
Sam Witwer: Well Sam – Meg go for it.
Meaghan Rath: I was going to say I mean it’s – I think for me it’s important to keep in mind that these are real people and not to get sucked into the supernatural element of the whole thing. What makes the show different is that we’re playing into the supernatural stereotypes, we are trying to play these as regular people. So for me it’s a lot about just keeping in mind what I would do in this kind of situation and what’s great about the show is that it’s really acting, what would you do if you were put in this situation.
And so I think that’s where the humanity comes from, just being a good person and being with these challenges that sort of question your morality and your values.
Sam Witwer: Yeah I think Meaghan is absolutely right with that. For example in television we’ve kind of seen everything including vampires, werewolves and ghosts and we’ve seen people get killed and all kinds of crazy stuff.
What we’re trying to do as three actors is we’re trying to bring as much humanity into those events as possible. For example if someone dies, we’re going to show you – hopefully we’re going to tell a story where you realize that that is an awful sacrifice or that something has happened that is really, really terrible.
It’s all about the character’s reactions and I mean these three characters are the eyes through which the audience watches the show.
So we’re really trying to keep our reactions to all this giant supernatural stuff very grounded. And in terms of the dark stuff that comes up, I mean the messed up thing is that at first you’ll see our characters react with horror and shame and all this awful stuff. And then as time goes on you might see them kind of get used to it and that hopefully will be a very sad thing to watch.
Sam Huntington: Yeah, I think you just kind of hit the nail on the head. I mean a lot of times on the show I can say I think the characters are almost seeing these horrible things happen for the first time, so they’re almost like the audience. You know they’re viewing these things and so hopefully that’s what the audience can kind of grasp on to and also it helps as an actor it helps in form what you do. Because you’re like okay well what if this person was killed, what would the ramifications, what emotionally what would that mean to me and how would that affect me and how would that affect every aspect of my life.
And so it’s cool. It sets the show aside, we don’t just roll over these issues, we actually tackle them.
You guys as actors and as the characters you portray have these really likeable chemistry and it’s a very believable thing because you know you guys actually seem to get along with one another. So from season one to season two and this is sort of expanding on what a previous caller asked, how are you guys interacting differently as actors on set? Do you trust each other more, do you seek out advice from one another about how to deal with a scene? Do you feel more comfortable to bite and push back? How has your chemistry kind of changed as actors this sophomore year?
Meaghan Rath: I do not do a scene without first consulting Sam Witwer. He coaches me.
Sam Witwer: It’s true. And I give her the okay whether she should do it or not and sometimes she shouldn’t do it. I’m like look.
Meaghan Rath: Often it’s just don’t do it.
Sam Huntington: Those are horrible.
Sam Witwer: You have to march right back to the producers and tell them you’re not doing this.
Sam Huntington: Yeah it’s miserable. And I’m on the outside looking in, I’m just sitting there in my trailer waiting it out, you know what I mean?
Sam Witwer: Yeah well it’s kind of fun because Meaghan has almost gotten fired several times because of things that I told her to do.
Sam Huntington: Exactly. And the weird thing is she’s so loyal to Witwer that she won’t start, like no, there’s this guy who’s telling me not to do this.
Sam Witwer: Yeah, me and Meaghan have this relationship where it’s a little bit like the bond between kidnapper and victim.
Sam Huntington: Yes.
Sam Witwer: It’s a little bit like that.
Sam Huntington: Brainwashed.
Meaghan Rath: I have Stockholm syndrome.
Sam Witwer: So if this is partially answering your question like we really like hanging out. We really do and this year the three characters they get split up a little bit and they go off on their own little journeys and for us that just made us appreciate every time that we had a scene together all the more.
And you know I think there’s like one or two scenes with us at least in every episode with all three of us. But I think our favorite episode to shoot was this episode that’s coming up down the line. Where we’re in every scene together throughout the whole episode. That was kind of, for us it was like oh this is the way to do it, this is the way to do the show. Who needs other actors?
Sam Huntington: Yeah, it’s what the show is about and to be honest like we were comfortable with each other instantly on set. Our relationship in that regard hasn’t changed. I feel like we like pretty much learned who each other were by half way through the first season, not even and have – our friendship has grown and built and everything.
But we have so much trust and faith in one another and like I just know, when we’re in a scene with one another, it’s going to work and there’s going to be that shorthand and it’s going to be fun and it’s going to be loose and it’s going to be natural. So you just have that confidence going into it and then in all seriousness like I think we also – I can speak for myself anyway – when I have a question or if I have a concern or if I am struggling with a piece of motivation I always ask Sam or Meaghan what they think.
And because I respect and love them so much and trust them so much so it really is truly as lame as that sounds it’s kind of true and also I feel very fortunate to have that relationship with them.
Sam Witwer: I think something that’s really cool about our relationship is this thing with me and Sammy and Meaghan is that both of those actors can do a whole bunch of stuff that I can’t. And I think that’s really awesome. Like there’s not a lot of overlap in terms of personality and ability so we all have our own turf with which we have to play with but at the same time I love watching an episode and seeing what they’re doing.
Because it’s like wow, look at all the stuff that they’re bringing that I frankly don’t know how to do. I love watching them and then stealing from them when I can.
Meaghan Rath: Yah, I think the best thing about it is that the trust level has gone up so much and for me these two guys are the people I trust most on set and you always feel like in scenes you’re in good hands. Like you’re never questioning the direction the scene is supposed to go in because it just always works every time we’re together. We just are able to feed off each other in a way that I’ve never experienced before.
Sam Huntington: There’s a scene in episode one, it’s actually online right now, it’s the scene that they teased, the scene in the kitchen where Kristen comes down and she’s like you know I pulled this you know high school reunion invitation out the trashcan and Meaghan’s very funny, Kristen’s very funny.
Anyway when we – obviously it’s episode one so you get the set and you know we’re shooting that scene I’m like God is this – is it – like I couldn’t tell what I was doing, like it was still so fresh in the process of season two and we were like getting back into it. And I was like this feels good but I really hope it’s working and then you see that scene and it just – I personally think it’s fantastic. Like it just nails the relationship, it picks back up exactly where it left off.
And I was just so happy to see that.
Sam Witwer: And also Kristen Hager is just wonderful this season, she’s so great. She is such a talented actress and we – and it should be noted we feel tremendously bonded to Kristen as well.
You know she’s one of us and is really awesome when we see someone that we’ve worked with for so long and that we bonded with come to set, it’s like oh it’s her, it’s Kristen. You know she’s there a lot so that’s good.
Are we going to be seeing a lot of tension between the roommates this year and if so is it hard to keep a straight face when that happens?
Sam Witwer: We will be seeing tension between the three in ways that we didn’t see in the first seasons, things get pretty serious and I’ll say this, – the scenes feel really good when you do them. There’s some scenes that we have where we’re kind of at each other’s throats, I hope that doesn’t give too much away. And it feels really good in once sense to do because you know that you’re really cooking, like when it’s really working you feel great about that.
On the other hand I don’t like having to shout or be mean to Sammy or Meaghan, you know what I mean? That’s the tough part. Is you’re like oh, okay.
Meaghan Rath: I like when you yell at me.
Sam Witwer: But she loves it, she loves taking it.
Sam Huntington: She’s an odd duck. But you know what, you said is it hard to keep a straight face, generally speaking you know when it’s a really, really rough moment for one of us it usually means it’s a rough moment for all of us. And we always you know like we love each other so we always generally respect when somebody needs a moment or somebody needs to gather themselves for a take.
I usually give Meaghan a really hard time, but beyond that.
Meaghan Rath: It’s unreal the hard time that he gives me. No consideration at all. For the most part you’re great, but then there’s the odd moment where you just – I’m trying to focus and you’re like fake vomiting on me.
Sam Huntington: Yeah, it’s good times. Those are the nights that I sleep well, you know? But I just – oh, I lead a good day.
Sam Witwer: Or I really got her today, I really made her feel bad about herself.
Sam Huntington: Really tore her up, really made her feel (unintelligible).
Meaghan Rath: But yeah this season you will see a lot of tension between the three roommates because we all are on our own journey and trying to get ourselves out of these really desperate situations. So for the reason that we’re doing completely different things when we do come together there’s a question of can we still relate to each other and how non-judgmental are we actually going to be towards each other? And that generates a lot of tension between us.
Sam Huntington: And you know the temptation this season is just a beast. You know what I mean? Just a beast.
Are any interesting or favorite guest stars this coming season that you’d like to mention.
Sam Witwer: Mark Pellegrino.
Meaghan Rath: Yeah.
Sam Huntington: There you go.
Meaghan Rath: There are a lot of guest stars we can’t talk about.
Sam Huntington: I can tell you Kristen Hager is one of my all time favorite people to work with ever and one of the greatest scene partners and I’m such a lucky guy.
Sam Witwer, why do you think that Aidan is – seems to me so much better than other vampires as far as trying to keep his dark side in check?
Sam Witwer: Why is he trying to keep his dark side in check, well it’s interesting, again not knowing what other vampire shows are doing these days or vampire movies, I haven’t really watched them so I don’t know how new the idea of a vampire trying to become a good guys is. But our take on it with the whole drug addiction analogy is I think really fresh and cool and that analogy, that metaphor is alive and well this season in a big, big way.
And why is it, why is it cool, why – what’s better about it, yeah, I don’t know. I like the fact that this is generally – that all things considered if you take away the addiction this is a principled guy. I like that about the character and I don’t know, I really don’t know. I couldn’t tell you.
The others all seem to either embrace it, really get into it or just you know go with it, whatever and he seems to want to fight against it.
Sam Witwer: He wants to fight against it but this year you do see him embrace it a little bit. Kind of against his will, the thing that we have to remember is in the first season, he’s trying to kick the habit in a drug addiction sense, well, the first thing he’s got to do is stay away from his old drug buddies. This is why so many people with drug addictions decide to stay in a residential rehab center like Enterhealth, so that they can’t interact with those bad influences. Obviously he doesn’t do this as that wouldn’t have made great TV, so that is why he struggles I guess.
And this season he can’t so we start seeing older – we’re going to see an older version of Aidan this year and when I say older we’re going to see a worse version of him, we’re going to see some of his old character traits that he had over the past 200 years start to resurface.
We’re going to learn first hand why everyone seems to be afraid of this guy, why everyone’s – you know even in the first season Bishop gave him you know a wide berth and Marcus was wary of him and everyone was you know spoke so highly of him as this maniac, this really dangerous guy. And this year we kind of start learning why.
Sam Huntington: You see the old Aidan.
Sam Witwer: That’s right.
Being Human was originally a British show, Being Human UK so I was wondering if any of you have watched it and do you feel this coming season is a chance to break away from the original because I do know that the first season very closely matched the first season of Being Human UK.
Sam Witwer: Well this season – sorry, Meaghan you want to go?
Meaghan Rath: No, go ahead.
Sam Witwer: We as actors we didn’t watch the British series when we were shooting our first season because we wanted to do our own thing. We wanted to make sure that ours was its own animal.
And then afterward we watched it. We watched everything. I love their show and I truly dig on it and I got Sammy and Meaghan started by buying them the box sets for season one and they watched it since then, watched more of it since then.
And you know we’re all into it, but the writers, our writers hate it. No just kidding. Our writers, no our writers for the same reason that we avoided watching season one, they’ve avoided watching season two because they want season two to be its own animal.
So any – there is a little bit of cross over here and there in terms of things happening sometimes in similar ways. But it’s really coincidental considering our writers didn’t even know. So it’s interesting, whenever something would happen that was similar I’d read it in the script and kind of laugh.
Because they have no idea, but you know it’s for the most part extremely different.